Adventures in Honeymooning
We’re not ‘beach people’, but we’re also not hardcore, capital ‘A’ adventure travellers who summit icy mountains, so when thinking of where to go for our honeymoon, the only criteria was to go somewhere amazing that offered an experience we couldn’t get anywhere else; a true once-in-a-lifetime adventure! After some deliberation and consultation with our Adventure Specialist, we landed on Peru and The Galapagos Islands – and they definitely delivered!
South America isn’t necessarily your typical honeymoon destination, nor are the actual tours we booked, but I’m going to take you through our experience to show you why these destinations are perfect for newlyweds with a sense of adventure!
Peru – Trekking the Inca Trail
Why did we choose Peru?
We’ve both wanted to get ourselves to Machu Picchu for as long as we can remember. That sight has a certain mystery and intrigue attached to it that we both wanted to experience.
How did we choose to explore?
Since Machu Picchu was the key highlight we wanted to see, we chose to do it in the most authentic way possible to get the full experience. For us, this meant trekking the Inca Trail! This isn’t for everyone and arguably isn’t the most romantic honeymoon option given that you’re engaging in strenuous physical activity for four days without showers, you camp for three nights, and there aren’t any real bathrooms along the trail. These factors became pretty insignificant once we found ourselves surrounded by the majestic Andes mountain range and hand-in-hand accomplished something incredible!
What did we book?
Through Merit Travel Adventure Vacations (formerly known as The Adventure Travel Company) we booked Intrepid Travel’s Inca Trail Express. It’s a 7-day small group tour that includes all accommodation (3 nights hotel/3 nights camping), local guides, all transportation, and most meals. In addition to the four day trek, the tour also takes you through Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
INCA TRAIL, ROMANCE FACTORS:
- Take time to enjoy the view with your partner! Everywhere you look are breathtaking views and you literally camp amongst the clouds. Every once in a while, stop trekking, take a rest and marvel at where you are in the world.
- The highlight of this honeymoon tour was ditching the group on day three and making a short hike on our own to some Incan ruins along the trail. We were literally the only people there and we stayed for over an hour exploring and just watching the dramatic sky change minute-by-minute.
- Along the way, you’ll find yourself really supporting your partner. At times, I needed some motivation; someone that could tell me I was doing great and encourage me to keep going-it was incredible to have that person be my new husband. There is no doubt this kind of physical activity can strengthen your relationship! In fact, a British couple on our tour got engaged once we made it to Machu Picchu!
- After the trek add a day or two in Cusco and indulge in a couples massage and romantic dinner. This is a perfect way to end the experience!
The Galapagos Islands
Why did we choose The Galapagos?
This was another destination that was high up on our bucket list! Ecuador is a natural extension from Peru as it’s very close and easy to get to. The Galapagos offers a great mix of light active days and lots of time to relax, so for us it was a perfect way to end our honeymoon after trekking the Inca Trail.
How did we choose to explore?
You can explore the Galapagos either by boat or by land. We chose to the water option to cover as many islands as possible and to give us the luxury of only unpacking once for the week. As we had spent the first half of our honeymoon camping with no showers, we decided to splurge on the second half by sailing on a mid/high range ship.
What did we book?
Through The Adventure Travel Company we booked Metropolitan Touring’s M/V Santa Cruz. We did a five night tour of the Western Islands which included all of our accommodations, meals, and local guides to take us through the islands. The ship was fantastic and the overall experience exceeded our expectations!
THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ROMANCE FACTORS
- Snorkeling! It may not sound romantic, but you can grab your partners hand and swim with the currents spotting incredible wildlife as you float along. You’ll come face-to-face with sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, rays and fish!
- On our ship we were able to socialize when we wanted, but also had the option of dinner at our own table, where we could order a bottle of wine and reflect on the exciting day we just had interacting with the unique Galapagos wildlife.
- With the water option, you typically sail for a couple hours during the mid-afternoon which gives you ample time to relax on the sun deck, hit the hot tub, read a book and spend some time enjoying each other’s company in a very relaxing and beautiful setting.
- In the islands you don’t have to worry about anything! You don’t need to have cash on you and your guides hold your hand through the entire experience, making it even more relaxing!
- If you’re looking for a first class experience, you can upgrade on many ships to an incredible cabin for the perfect honeymoon experience!
Our honeymoon to Peru and The Galapagos Islands absolutely delivered the once-in-a-lifetime experience we were looking for! It took us on an incredible adventure that was the perfect mix of physical activity, interaction with nature, wildlife, and culture, and just enough downtime to relax after planning a wedding without being bored.
I strongly recommend that couples look outside of the box when planning their honeymoon. Sure, laying on a beach for two weeks has its place and its benefits, but coming back home from a life-changing adventure with your new partner is an incredible option that I truly believe helps strengthen relationships and delivers memories you will talk about forever and tell your grandkids about!
December 7, 2012